E-commerce & cross-border sales: Multilingualism in automatic text creation

International E-commerce is growing rapidly: according to current Statista data, the sales volume of the global E-commerce market in 2018 rose by around 25 percent year-on-year to almost 2,982 billion dollars. According to a recent study by consulting firm A.T. Kearney, this enormous growth is due in particular to the market expansion of online retailers into new regions.

Cross-border sales present E-commerce with opportunities & challenges

And indeed, cross-border sales – a term that describes product sales between countries and thus the internationalisation of sales activities – offers online merchants great economic opportunities. The internationalisation of sales markets offers online shop providers – both in the B2C and B2B segments – the opportunity to offer their products to a much larger audience, open up new sales markets and thus achieve higher sales overall. On the other hand, internationalisation plans also present numerous challenges for E-commerce companies.

High customer demands make multilingual online shops a must-have

One of the first difficulties in opening up supra-regional sales markets for retailers is often to provide an online shop in the language of the target country. For example, customers in Spain will expect a product from a German online shop to have the same detailed and informative article descriptions in Spanish as a product from a Spanish E-commerce retailer.

In order to meet the high customer requirements in E-commerce, retailers must have their online shops – and thus also product descriptions of several thousand articles from different product categories – translated into the language of their target market. However, this often requires considerable internal resources, both financially and in terms of time.

Creating scalable multilingual content with NLG

Natural language generation offers a much more efficient method of tailoring content to an international audience: NLG solutions have the ability to create texts fully automatically in different languages. Here, text modules – in the narrower sense – are not really translated, but generated automatically in the target language on the basis of data and a grammatical set of rules directly and thus without time delays.

Time-consuming coordination between editors, agencies, translators and other parties involved in content production is thus eliminated; the retailer can offer articles online much faster than in the conventional process.

A further advantage is that because automatic text generation not only allows product descriptions to be generated in German, but also texts to be generated automatically in English and other languages, there is significant potential for savings, especially for internationally active retailers or for those who wish to go international with their sales.

How online retailers can accelerate their internationalisation with

The intelligent linguistic analysis of supports numerous European languages with German, English, Dutch and – more recently – French, Italian and Swiss German. By one mouse click, can generate SEO-relevant and unique article descriptions in different languages. In terms of quality and tone, machine-generated descriptions do not differ from texts created by a (human) native speaker.

A win-win situation for both customers and E-commerce merchants: while international customers benefit from an optimised user experience through machine-generated, native-language product descriptions, merchants can open up new sales markets and achieve higher sales rates. Natural language generation provides E-commerce merchants with an efficient way to scale their internationalisation.